There are over 3000 Chinese in Ghana with resident permits, according to the Public Immigration Officer of the Ghana Immigration Service.
Speaking on Awake, Wednesday morning, Mr Francis Palmdeti said previous information that there were 607 Chinese in Ghana with work and resident permits was “quite inaccurate.”
Rather, he said, the 607 Chinese as reported by the Daily Graphic on July 24, 2012 was the number of Chinese that had been given work permits in the country.
He said, “When you put Chinese nationals on resident permits we have in our record of over 3140 Chinese.
We have some who come in for business purposes and after a week or two they are gone.”
Mr Palmdeti also stated that in 2011 there were about 12000 to 13000 Chinese arriving and departing at the Kotoka International Airport.
The Chinese have been in the news lately for their engagement in illegal mining activities in the country.
From the beginning of the year to date, about 115 illegal Chinese workers have been arrested by immigration officials. Out of the number, 29 have so far been repatriated to China.
Mr Palmdeti said there was not much difficulty in repatriating illegal Chinese workers, however, “as an institution our focus is not Chinese. Our Focus is on foreigners who flout rules. We do not focus on a particular nationality.”
He said when caught in illegal employment such as “galamsey”, the punitive measure is for the Immigration Service to fine the culprit GHC2000.
However, he said, “Penalty for engaging in illegal activities in the Minerals Commission Act is more punitive. So if immigration goes alone to deal with the matter, we may deal with the matter by repatriating the person, penalizing the person; but I think that the Minerals Commission law is really potent.”
“It has reached a stage where national security apparatus has seen that it goes beyond just one agency in dealing with the matter,” he said.
At the moment, he said the Ghana Immigration Service is in collaboration with the police service and minerals commission in dealing with the matter and called on Ghanaians to help restrain the activities of illegal mining in the country.